By Algis Budrys
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Extra resources for Blood & Burning
Some of them will have bright new cast stone or aluminum fronts, but the buildings are all fifty years old behind them. There'll be a couple of yellow fire-brick structures, with almost anything in on their ground floors now, that used to be the A & P and the Woolworth's. Those moved out to the shopping center back in the 1950's. There'll be a couple of movie theaters, and one of them was closed long before the trouble hit the town itself. There's a Masonic Temple, churches of various Christian denominations, a hotel for little old ladies and salesmen.
The bed was soaked with perspiration, and I felt limp, as though something had cut my tendons. But that was just weakness, because, by mid-afternoon, I could walk around a little. I looked out the window, and all the television antennas were down. The neighborhood looked good, too – as if every speck of dirt that had been accumulating for a hundred years had disappeared. The streets were clean, and the air was crystal clear. Down on the corner, the pool hall that I knew was just a front for a lot of other things was being boarded up.
He had a right to be. I'd as good as said he wasn't a team man. I felt bad about having been rude. "Come on – let's go back to camp," he said. " Artel slipped off into the darkness. I followed him. We didn't say anything more to each other that night. We got back to our camp and sacked out. A team is a little bit like a marriage. I don't care what anybody says, sometimes it's better not to talk it out. It makes you feel like hell for a while, but you've got an even chance the next morning one or the other of you will say some thing in a friendly way and then the other one will feel relieved and it will be all over.